For those of us who are unapologetic movie fans, it is THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN! The Academy Awards will occur in late February, so it is time to stick our neck out and make predictions. Sure, I could be wrong, but when has that ever happened before? These are only preliminary picks, and I reserve the right to make occasional changes before Judgment Day.
BEST PICTURE – This is one of the toughest calls this year, and I think it comes down to “Lincoln,” “Life of Pi,” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Though “Argo” has swept this award given by other organizations, I don’t see how it can win given the fact that Ben Affleck did not receive an Oscar nod for Best Director.
Clearly, “Lincoln” has been favored for a lot of good reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we have just celebrated the second inaugural of America’s first African-American president. “Life of Pi” is a stunning work of art, and it is an experience that almost transforms the human spirit. “LesMiserables” was superior and “Django Unchained” was excellent if you exclude the last 30 minutes, but I sense that they have already received their reward which comes from their nomination. However, I’m going to have to call this for “Silver Linings Playbook.” This is a unique, accomplished film that deserves this award, and I hope it gets it.
And the Winner is: “Silver Linings Playbook”
BEST ACTRESS – Cutting to the heart of this nomination, I think it is a choice between Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook.” These are two great, deserving actresses, and you really couldn’t fault the winner, regardless of who it proves to be.
However, Jennifer Lawrence was magnificent as a young, mentally troubled young woman in love with a mentally troubled young man. It is an extraordinarily memorable performance, and that is why I pick her as the winner.
And the Winner is: Jennifer Lawrence
BEST ACTOR – Quite honestly, in any other year Bradley Cooper should win this award for “Silver Linings Playbook.” It is an unforgettable performance, and spectacular in every respect. Hugh Jackman captured “Les Miserables,” and Denzel Washington was, well, Denzel Washington in “Flight.” However, for the third time this award belongs to Daniel Day-Lewis for a portrayal of Abraham Lincoln that is a performance for the ages. Wrap it up and give it to him.
And the Winner is: Daniel Day-Lewis
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Again, “Silver Linings Playbook” had a positively darling additional actress in Jacki Weaver. However, though Sally Field would be a popular selection for “Lincoln,” this award belongs to Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables.” It is a role nearly as memorable as Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln, and I expect her to be recognized.
And the Winner is: Anne Hathaway
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – This is the most difficult category to pick other than the winner for Best Picture. To begin with, while all of the nominees are deserving, so was the overlooked Javier Bardem for his stunning role in this year’s great Bond movie, “Skyfall.”
All of the nominees have won before. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a truly brilliant actor, but I don’t see his performance in “The Master” as breaking through in any respect. Alan Arkin, along with John Goodman, really made “Argo” a sensational picture, but I think the award goes elsewhere.
In the end, it comes down to Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln,” Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained” and Robert DeNiro in “Silver Linings Playbook.” To be quite honest, Mr. Waltz’ performance may be the best of the three, but I see Mr. DeNiro being recognized after last winning in 1974 for “The Godfather, Part 2.” He played an extraordinary blue collar dad, and it is again an unforgettable performance.
And the Winner is: Robert DeNiro
BEST DIRECTOR – This is the third difficult choice to pick. Cutting to the heart of the matter, I think it comes down once again to the three best movies of the year, in this case Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” While I may be wrong, I’m rolling the dice on David Russell as the winner. Regardless, Mr. Lee and Mr. Spielberg are already shining in the artistic night sky, and it would be great for Mr. Russell to be there also. Although he could miss out given the fact that he also wrote the screenplay, it would be a deserving award.
And the Winner is: David O. Russell
In any event, make your picks, and get on board. After all, nothing is gained in life unless you are willing to make a profound ass out of yourself.•
To read the rest of Hammerle’s picks in other award categories, visit his website: www.bigmouthbobs.com.